Turtle Back Craniosacral Education
 with Margery Chessare, LMT, BCST, RCST    PLLC

Coming up, a two-part series:  Treating Concussions

With Michael Shea, PhD, author and educator 

Feb 14-17 and June 13-16, 2019  •  Saratoga Springs, NY

Students registering for this series will be expected to attend both seminars.

Please find an overview of Michael Shea's approach to Biodynamic Cardiovascular Therapy on our home page here.


Recently completed:

Biodynamic Approach to the Vagus Nerve, Vascular System and Viscera

Seminar 1: The Head-Face-Cardiac Connection

Monday-Thursday, June 19-22, 2017

This advanced training will focus on new research in the embryonic development of the heart with its implications for biodynamic practice. The heart grows around a profound stillness located in its inner tissues. The relationship of the developing face to the brain behind it and the heart attached in front of it, along with the neck, will be a specific focus in this class.

The heart is ignited by growth factors from the face. As the face and brain grow upwards, the heart grows down within the trunk cavity of the embryo. This links the heart, brain and face together as one unit of function. Specific skills to balance the heart fields of the face, brain, trunk and neck will be taught.

Of special interest in this course will be the four types of circulatory systems present in the embryo, fetus and infant, and the closing of the anterior midline. The relationship of the therapist and client is an interconnected circulatory system in biodynamic practice. Meditations and cardiovascular explorations will also be taught to bring conscious awareness of the movement of the heart and blood in the therapist’s body and then in the client. Research proves that this changes the brain, developing empathy and compassion for the client.

  • Introduction to Ignition in the cardiovascular system
  • Perform the skills of balancing the head, neck and heart with Primary Respiration.
  • Work with the fluid fields of face.
  • Deepen an understanding of biodynamic practice as a two-person circulatory system.

Seminar 2: Microbiome, Abdominal Aorta, Coeliac Trunk and Superior Mesenteric Arteries

Thursday-Sunday, November 16-19, 2017

This course will enhance practitioner’s cardiovascular skills related to the abdominal arteries. Students will deepen their understanding of metabolic syndromes and how they originate in the gut. New research on the microbiome will be presented, especially its relationship with the vagus nerve.

Distinctions will be made between the heart-brain-gut metabolic pathways through the vagus nerve. Students will learn important skills to balance this connection. Included in this class will be contact with the abdominal aorta, coeliac trunk, superior mesenteric artery and right colic arteries to balance the vagus nerve in the intestines.

Also included will be more information on the structure and function of the vagus nerve above and below the diaphragm. The vagus has many functions, and its connection in the gut provides the brain information about the microbiome and the immune system. The vagus nerve is critical in fighting inflammatory conditions in the gut and cardiovascular system.

Students will continue learning how the endothelium of the vascular system is related to all other endothelium in the body, especially the gut.

  • Learn the signaling system of the ANS between the heart and brain.
  • Learn new bridging skills between the fluid body and vascular system.
  • Differentiate the portal vein system.
  • Begin to heal the intestines through the superior mesenteric artery.

Seminar 3: The Vagus Nerve, Inferior Mesenteric, Internal Iliac Arteries

Thursday-Sunday, February 15-18, 2018

This class is about the deep vascular structures of the abdomen and pelvis. We will explore the development of metabolic syndromes and new information on the subdiaphragmatic vagus nerve (X).

Of particular interest will be a deeper understanding of the fluid body. Students will learn specific explorations to contact the inferior mesenteric and left colic arteries. Included will be an exploration of the internal iliac arteries for deeper stabilization of the cardiovascular and subdiaphragmatic vagal system.

In addition, this class will look at the entire continuity of the subdiaphragmatic vagus between the intestines, ovaries and prostate. A model of the polyvagal system will be presented, combining the social nervous system of the face, heart rate variability in the heart, vagal relationships with the microbiome and immune system in the gut and, finally, its role in the ovaries and prostate gland. This will include the connection of the vagus to the sacral outflow of the parasympathetic nervous system.

  • Learn about the metabolism of the subdiaphragmatic vagal system.
  • Explore the deeper embryology of the cardiac nervous system.
  • Learn to balance the fluid body and cardiovascular system.
  • Learn how to support the vagus nerve above and below the diaphragm.

Course Prerequisites

- Course modules may not be taken individually; please plan to participate in the complete three-seminar series.
- Previous training in craniosacral therapy and/or manual therapy is necessary.

Continuing Education Hours

Each four-day module in the series is approved to provide 24.5 Continuing Education Hours for NYS Licensed and NCBTMB-certified massage therapists. The series will provide a total of 73.5 CE hours.

Hours and Location

- 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, Monday - Thursday, June 19-22, 2017 (ending at 3 pm on Thursday).

- 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, Thursday - Sunday (ending at 3 pm on Sunday), November 16-19, 2017 & February 15-18, 2018.

Hyatt Place Saratoga/Malta
20 State Farm Place
Malta, NY 12020

Within minutes of historic Saratoga Springs, where there are numerous hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, shopping, yoga studios, parks and Saratoga's famous springs. Find information at saratoga.com.

Northway/Rt. 87 Exit 12 • 10 minutes from the center of Saratoga Springs • 20 minutes from Albany International Airport • 25 minutes from Albany/Rensselaer Train Station • 12 minutes from Saratoga Springs Train Station.

Group hotel discount available at the Hyatt Place; use code TURF for February 2018. Click here for direct link to Hyatt discount in Feb. • Shuttle between Albany Airport or Saratoga Train Station and the hotel is free with 72-hour prior notice (phone Hyatt at 518•885•1109).


Tuition in full must be paid prior to Seminar 1.
Payable by check or PayPal (below). Pay in full or make interest-free payments (see PayPal options below).

• $150 nonrefundable deposit is required to hold your place now. No exceptions.

• $1950 Early Bird price (includes $150 deposit) paid in full by May 19, 2017.

• $2100 Regular fee (includes $150 deposit) paid in full between May 19 and June 16, 2017.

• $2200 Walk-in fee payable in full on first day of the training, June 19, 2017.

Cancellation policy

Refund, minus $150 nonrefundable deposit/administrative fee, given only for cancellation request received no later than 30 days prior to the start of the first Seminar in June.

To Register

Please complete our registration form here and pay deposit by check or PayPal.


Checks may be made payable and mailed to:

Turtle Back Craniosacral
21 Pine Robin Rd.
Greenfield Center, NY 12833

Or make a secure online payment with PayPal.
(Note: You do not have to have a PayPal account to use this service.)

Please choose your payment from the drop-down menu below:

    • Nonrefundable Deposit, required: $150.
    • Balance for series (after deposit): $1950.
    • Series fee in full (includes deposit): $2100.

Vagus Nerve, Vascular System and Viscera

Questions? Please click here to email Margery or call (518) 232-2838.

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